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AIBU to ask about intensive driving lessons?

(44 Posts)
ButchyRestingFace Tue 31-Oct-17 15:51:24

Obviously very unreasonable to ask this question, but here goes:

I'm learning to drive having had lessons some years ago but never sat test. I'm learning in an automatic (disability) and there are few automatic instructors in my area. I also want to learn in a hurry.

I've managed to find an automatic instructor but she has announced she'll be retiring soon.

I indicated that I would continue with my one a week lesson until she retires and then look into going for a week long intensive course.

She proceeded to tell me every horror story under the sun about intensive courses, and how they're just a con, and no-body every passes that way, etc etc.

Has anyone ever passed their driving test after taking an intensive course? And if so, any recommendations for a good driving school? I'm in Scotland but could travel. smile

newperson Tue 31-Oct-17 15:56:16

Watching with interest. I e never heard any bad stories about the week long course 🙁

billabye Tue 31-Oct-17 15:59:14

I’m an ex instructor and have to say that going on my experiences I agree with her. That said, it really depends upon your standard at the start of the intensive course. If you’re already fairly good then the odds are better.

PiggyPlumPie Tue 31-Oct-17 15:59:23

DD passed using one in Aberdeen in August. She had about 6 months of lessons last year but stopped to go to uni.

It was really tiring for her - four hours every day for a week then her test the following week.

She wasn't expecting to pass but obviously did.

ButchyRestingFace Tue 31-Oct-17 16:02:22

Hi Billa and Piggy, thanks for your replies. flowers

Piggy, one of the things my instructor told me is that the intensive driving course is mostly classroom based, and with a 40 hour course, you only get out on the road for approximately 10 of those 40 hours.

She also said that you spend your time sitting in the back seat with other students watching the instructor drive. Obviously I want to avoid this!

Is that consistent with your daughter's experience or was she actually out driving the car herself?

IceCreamIceCream Tue 31-Oct-17 16:03:05

I did it and passed ! I agree it was tiring but worth it. I had previously done 10 hours a couple of years previous.

IceCreamIceCream Tue 31-Oct-17 16:04:13

I can say that sitting in a classroom wasn’t my experience. We did 2.5 hours driving followed by 1 hour normally sat in a cafe doing theory etc then another 2.5 hours.

thelastredwinegum Tue 31-Oct-17 16:05:50

My brother did it (no previous lessons) and passed first time so it worked for him.
I wish I'd tried it.

GetOutOfMYGarden Tue 31-Oct-17 16:08:43

I'm glad I didn't do it personally. I was losing focus by the end of a 2 hour lesson, definitely wouldn't have managed to do an intensive course.

ferrier Tue 31-Oct-17 16:11:06

I did about five lessons prior to going on a week long intensive. Five hours a day and passed the test on the Friday afternoon.
It was a good option for me as I didn't have access to a car or qualified passenger to practise with.

Andro Tue 31-Oct-17 16:38:44

I when from zero to pass doing an intensive course - and spent most of the time driving. I wouldn't recommend it without having some experience first though, going from never driven at 8 am Monday morning to keys to my own car and driving the motorway on Saturday was not the most sensible thing I've ever done!

Andro Tue 31-Oct-17 16:39:10

*went, obviously

comingintomyown Tue 31-Oct-17 16:42:55

Didn't work for me at all beyond a couple of hours you're driving "parrot" fashion and not taking anything in

BastardTart Tue 31-Oct-17 16:46:08

I did an intensive course. I had to pass my theory test before starting the course as the driving test was booked in for the Friday afternoon (first ever lesson on the Monday of that week).

It was stressful and draining, but that was mainly because I struggled to get my head around gears. But I had 35 hours of lessons that week, then failed my test on reverse parking only. So I booked in for another 2 days of lessons (10 hours) with my test at the end of those days and I passed!

So for me it was completely worth it. I took one week off work, and then 2 days off work. I went from not knowing how to start a car, to actually driving on my own after 7 days of lessons .

I'd highly recommend intensive courses, but ask around to see if anyone can recommend a really good local instructor

Pangur2 Tue 31-Oct-17 16:48:58

I did one in South West London. I was an extremely nervous driver so I wasn't ready for the test by the end, but I did pass the theory during the week. The week long course gave me good grounding for short lessons and I passed a few months later. I don't think there is any point is doing an intensive course if you have already passed your theory though.

Ttbb Tue 31-Oct-17 16:51:16

What about those ones that garuabtee free lessons if you don't pass?

sinceyouask Tue 31-Oct-17 16:53:48

I had a colleague in my last job who applied for, and unexpectedly got, a job which required her to drive. She got a credit card, did an intensive (week long) driving course, and passed. She said that the first drive after passing was absolutely fecking terrifying, but once she'd survived that, she was fine.

I am so nervous that even thinking about driving lessons makes my hands sweaty. An intensive course would not work for me.

OlennasWimple Tue 31-Oct-17 16:56:25

The thing is, passing your test is only a part of actually learning to drive. Nothing can compensate for getting miles and miles of driving under your belt, over a period of time and in a variety of conditions.

Most learners do a lot of that naturally during their driving lessons and in due course by practicing. If you do an intensive course, you don't usually have the opportunity to do lots of different types of driving until you pass your test and are out on your own.

ButchyRestingFace Tue 31-Oct-17 17:18:11

Thank you everyone. Seems to be quite a varied experience of intensive driving lessons.

My instructor did caveat her advice by saying she was referring to how IDSs operated about 10 years ago. She hadn't met anyone recently who'd been on a course.

I have a (SORN'D) car but don't have anyone to practice with at the mo. As I said, I have taken lessons in the past, and intend to do the theory test before going for an intensive course.

Would also be looking to do PASS plus course if/when I pass. Ain't no way I'm going straight onto a motorway. 😱

RainbowPastel Tue 31-Oct-17 17:24:48

I passed after a week long course. No classroom tuition never heard of that. I drove the car at all times never the instructor. Best thing I ever did. I passed with BSM.

AshGirl Tue 31-Oct-17 17:28:10

My DH did one and passed first time.

It was about 5 hours a day with a very short break in the middle. There was no classroom time; all on the road. He had the test booked for the following week.

He had had lessons on and off for a few years and also had a lot of ‘road sense’ from riding motorbikes. I think if you start as a complete beginner then an intensive course would be very difficult.

My DH did find it very stressful, but he is an anxious type anyway!

BriechonCheese Tue 31-Oct-17 17:28:37

If you want to book one do a taster session. I recently did a return to driving intense course and the instructor made me cry every single day. 20 hours when you hate a person is a long time. He turned me into a nervous wreck.

ButchyRestingFace Tue 31-Oct-17 17:30:11

If you want to book one do a taster session. I recently did a return to driving intense course and the instructor made me cry every single day. 20 hours when you hate a person is a long time.

Yes, that was something my instructor said!

I'm feeling slightly heartened by people talking about the lack of classroom time and more focus on on-road driving. smile

FleurWeasley Tue 31-Oct-17 17:32:08

I did three x three-hour lessons a week for about two months and passed first time (I think it was 60 hours total). Just a more intense way of working with abnormal driving instructor.

ButchyRestingFace Tue 31-Oct-17 17:40:18

Just a more intense way of working with abnormal driving instructor.

In what way was he "abnormal"? And do you think it helped? grin

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